Reagan’s ‘tear down this wall’ replaced with Obama’s ‘consider our hashtag’ foreign policy


In March of 2010 I wondered why the kids who voted for President Obama thought his YouTube Diplomacy would sway the world’s worst dictators and despots. It’s now 2014, and the administration’s Twitter Diplomacy has exploded in its face. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was the one who lit the fuse with the instantly-mocked tweet: “The world stands #UnitedforUkraine. Let’s hope that the #Kremlin & @mfa_russia will live by the promise of the hashtag.

While Russia fights for its cultural identity, the White House is fighting for “the promise of the hashtag.” One simply needs to flip through a history book to see how Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II dismantled the Soviet Union in order to realize that President Obama should have stuck to “organizing” Chicago (i.e., Chiraq).

Is it any wonder why the Kremlin won’t take calls from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel?

The Washington Times reported:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has been unable to get Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the phone amid escalating tension near the country’s shared border with Ukraine.

Mr. Shoigu announced Thursday that Russia planned to engage in a new series of military exercises near the Ukraine border. The military move, he said, is in response to ongoing NATO training exercises in Poland and the death of at least two pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

The White House is getting shellacked on the world stage, and Americans have no one to blame but themselves.


Chuck Hagel (Image: Associated Press)
“Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? Why is no one picking up? Is this thing broken or does no one take me seriously? I’m Chuck Hagel, damn it.”

But back to the “promise of the hashtag.” Foreign Policy Magazine breaks it down for everyone to understand:

Late last month, Marie Harf, a deputy spokesperson at the State Department, took to the podium to announce a new social media campaign aimed at “mobilizing the international community in support of Ukraine.” The campaign, she explained, asks “the world to show their support for Ukraine on social media by using the hashtag … #UnitedForUkraine.” …

So far, speaking with “one voice” hasn’t done much to deter Russian aggression, even as part of a broader campaign to punish Moscow for its behavior. … U.S. officials and legislators have unanimously ruled out a military response to Russian aggression. So you’d be forgiven for considering the State Department’s social media campaign to be a somewhat Quixotic, ephemeral even, effort at building a response to Russia’s moves in Ukraine.

For anyone writing an early obituary of U.S. diplomatic efforts in Ukraine, here’s your headline: “The Promise of Hashtag.” The ease with which Russian diplomats have hijacked the banner under which sundry U.S. officials have been tweeting about Ukraine also speaks to the danger of using a slogan that essentially lacks content. What does it mean to be “united for Ukraine”? It certainly sounds good. Both words begin with a “u.” And who doesn’t like “unity”? But combing the two words with the preposition “for” doesn’t add a great deal of meaning.

Then there’s this: It’s no small irony that the Russian Foreign Ministry managed to express itself in more coherent English than the State Department’s chief spokesperson.

Here’s the key takeaway: “the danger of using a slogan that essentially lacks content.”

I’ve said before that the president was propelled to great heights by his talent for eloquently delivering soaring vagueness. The man who preached “hope and change” got people who get excited over “Obama cares” bumper stickers to vote for him twice, and guys like Vladimir Putin couldn’t be happier. The Russian Foreign Ministry speaks better English than the State Department because it knows exactly what it wants — and its willing to use force to get it.

Russia is not interested in being an “also ran.” It has a rich and proud history, and it will fight to regain what it believes to be its rightful place on the world stage. Meanwhile, we have a president who laments the fact that the United States isn’t just one random voice among many on the world’s stage. He bristles as phrases like “American exceptionalism” and chooses, whenever possible, to drag the skeletons out of our closet for all the world to see.

One could almost forgive the man if his foreign policy was even remotely coherent. Instead, Americans get “reset” buttons (misspelled as “overcharge”) and Ashton Kutcher diplomacy.

CNET reported in February, 2010:

Perhaps you, like me, were forcefully encouraged to see the new movie “Valentines Day” last weekend. In the course of diplomacy, perhaps you, too, said that it was a wonderful movie.

You will be fascinated, then, to discover that the movie’s star, Ashton Kutcher, has become a U.S. government diplomat.

According to the LA Times, Kutcher is being sent by the State Department to Russia as part of a tech delegation that aims to use its bits to foster diplomacy with that particularly bearish, bullish part of the world. …

It seems that no special time has been set aside to discuss hacking, censorship or blogger imprisonment.

How did that work out for us, Mr. President? How much bang for the diplomatic buck did we get for sending Ashton Kutcher over to Russia to dicker around with the Russians and talk about how widgets and gadgets and Twitter hashtags are really, really awesome?

President Reagan can be summed up: “Tear down this wall.” President Obama: “Respect our hashtags — please?”

Compare and contrast Ronald Reagan’s handling of Communists with the Obama administration’s “reset” (i.e., “overcharge) diplomacy.

Sorry, Ukraine: Putin knows Obama ‘consciously uncoupled’ himself from foreign affairs long ago


Say you’re Russian President Vladimir Putin. You rolled your tanks in to Crimea, snatched it up, and all that really happened were some angry press conferences by representatives of western nations. You took yourself a nice warm-water port, you’ve expanded your sphere of influence, and the only real pain you received came from some economic sanctions put together on the fly by President Obama and the gang. John Kerry got a little flustered. So what. You know that Mr. Obama pulled a Gwyneth Paltrow and “unconsciously uncoupled” himself from foreign affairs long ago.

The question then becomes not whether or not you will go for more inside Ukraine, but why on earth you wouldn’t. That’s why U.S. intelligence believes that an invasion is likely (not a hard assessment to make when there are suddenly 30,000 troops amassed along Ukraine’s border), and so does NATO.

NATO Source reported:

Russian forces have been concentrated for possible offensive action on the borders of Ukraine, in vast numbers and in a high state of readiness, according to U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe. In a series of military maneuvers on the Ukrainian border, Russian paratroopers (the VDV corps) and the air force have been preparing to spearhead a possible push deep into Ukraine. …

If Putin decides to send in his troops, he has a narrow window in which to act. …

Ukraine has scheduled a national presidential election for May 25 that may further legitimize the regime the Kremlin hates and wants to overthrow. The Kremlin may find it hard to resist the temptation to attack Ukraine and “liberate” the south and east while Russia is ready, the Ukrainian military weak, and the regime in Kiev unstable. Such a move could lead to more Western sanctions, but this risk maybe dwarfed by the vision of a major geostrategic victory seemingly at hand.

Geostrategic victory, indeed.

Imagine a scenario where Putin takes another chunk of Ukraine and then when things get particularly bloody he throws up his hands and says, “Okay, I’ll play nice if you do away with the sanctions.” Does anyone think the West would not capitulate? Does anyone think bureaucrats would not jump at the opportunity to stop the violence, pat themselves on the back for their efforts and declare a win for “diplomacy” — all while conveniently ignoring the massive shift in power orchestrated by Putin?

Take a look at Syria: The Obama administration told the world Bashar Hafez al-Assad had to go, yada, yada, yada, red lines, red lines, red lines, and then it essentially just morphed into, “Well, maybe if you just turn over your chemical weapons we can work something out.” Syria turned over its rotting old WMD and has been dragging its feet on the rest. Maybe it will turn them over…when it gets around to it. What’s the world going to do about it now? Answer: nothing.

This is what the world looks like when an American president divorces himself from foreign affairs. The problem is exacerbated because for years now Americans have fed from the trough of moral relativism — they’ve willingly slurped down the slop that says, “the values of your founding fathers are no better or worse than the mullahs in Iran or the former KGB agents in Russia or the shirtless Somali warlords with automatic rifles slung over their shoulders while sporting a pair of tuxedo shoes.”



Free nations around the world wanted to see what it would look like if America retreated into its shell and acted as if its destiny paralleled countries like Zaire or Bolivia — and the world got an answer. Will America reverse course or continue on the current trajectory? We know what direction Vladimir Putin is hoping for. What about you?


Howard Fineman: Obama Era and its Ellen DeGeneres Oscar selfies are as powerful as Putin

Howard Fineman Oscars

Howard Fineman is The Huffington Post’s Editorial Director and an “analyst” over at MSNBC. He’s also the author of one of the most cringe-worthy tweets you will ever see that touches on both politics and culture.

Yes, according to Mr. Feineman, the “cultural creativity of the U.S. in the Obama Era” is just as powerful as Vladimir Putin. Perhaps if more insanely rich liberals would get together at big parties and take “selfies” of themselves Putin would pull his forces back into Russia, huddle his generals and say, “Kevin Spacey…Brad Pitt…Julia Roberts…together in one place — it was too much for Mother Russia to bear, comrades! ’12 Years a Slave’ won Best Picture. The diversity, the tolerance, it’s a Hind attack helicopter’s Achilles heel. We must regroup.”

Ellen DeGeneres Oscar tweet

On Friday I mentioned CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, and her inability to even conceive of the idea that Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine. I said that she was part of a culture that foolishly laughed at President Obama’s jokes about Mr. Romney’s foreign policy chops — because Romney knew what he was talking about.

On Sunday I mentioned that this same media culture was one that bought into the administration’s dangerous use of euphemisms (e.g., “uncontested arrival”). I said they covered for guys like Joe Biden, who have been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” (according to former Defense Secretary Bob Gates), while criticizing someone like Sarah Palin — who called a Ukraine invasion in 2008. Then, Sunday night, Mr. Fineman goes and writes something that sums up the culture he belongs to perfectly. Thank you, God.

Russian Armor AP

Yes, culture does matter, but Hollywood culture is not the “soft power” that wins wars. Hollywood and “Obama Era” culture is about narcissistic know-it-alls (who know little to nothing outside their craft) gathering together in big rooms and patting themselves on the back for how awesome they are. It’s about Mr. Obama winning the Nobel Peace prize after months in office…and then coming out with his ‘Terror Tuesday Kill List’ soon afterward. It’s about MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow winning the Walter Cronkite Award after three days on the job. It’s about friends who give themselves Lucite blocks and golden statues and then acting as if world peace would be achieved if more people just bought tickets to see Cate Blanchett in Woody “It would be good…if (Obama) could be dictator for a few years”  Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’

Ukraine Russia AP

It’s hard not to read Mr. Fineman’s words and think of Adam Sandler’s ‘Billy Madison’: “I award you no points..and may God have mercy on your soul.”

President Euphemism: Obama ‘concerned’ Russia’s ‘uncontested arrival’ to incite ‘man-caused disaster’

Ukraine Russia AP

President Barack Euphemism Obama now has ‘deep concern’ over Russia’s military power grab in Ukraine’s Crimea region. While his administration tried to go with the laughably Orwellian ‘uncontested arrival’ on Friday as the troops moved in, it has now turned into a “clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.”

President Obama called Russian ruler Vladimir Putin Saturday afternoon and expressed “deep concern” over Russia’s move in Ukraine.

The White House called Russia’s recent aggression a “clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity” and a breach of international law.

The White House said the U.S. is suspending preparations for the upcoming Group of Eight summit in June in Sochi, Russia, in response to Russia’s actions.

You can imagine Vladimir Putin right now in a thick Russian accent: “Hey, comrade Dmitry, Obama says we can expect his presence at the upcoming Sochi summit to go kaput over our ‘uncontested arrival.’ Bwahahahaha!”

Uncontested Arrival Obama Ukraine

Perhaps no one called out the White House’s predilection to torture words and confuse Americans with Newspeak better than Iowahawk:

Iowahawk Uncontested Arrival

Bombing Libya became “kinetic military action.” Terrorist attacks by radical Islamic psychopaths became “man-caused disasters.” A Russian invasion is now an “uncontested arrival.”

Yes, it was “uncontested” because Ukraine — especially in its current state of chaos — didn’t have the means to fight back.

The New York Times reported:

KIEV, Ukraine — The new government of Ukraine called an emergency session of its national security council on Saturday in the face of the Russian military’s seizure of Crimea, but the leaders are facing a grim reality: Their armed forces are ill equipped to try to reconquer the region militarily. …

But the Ukrainian military has only a token force in the autonomous region — a lightly armed brigade of about 3,500 people, equipped with artillery and light weapons but none of the country’s advanced battle tanks, said Igor Sutyagin, a Russian military expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London. The forces also have only one air squadron of SU-27 fighters deployed at the air base near Belbek.

A senior NATO official said that Ukraine’s small naval fleet, which was originally part of the Black Sea Fleet, had been boxed in by Russian warships.

If China gives Japan the middle finger and its military moves in on the contested Senkakus or even the southern Ryukyu islands in the East China Sea, would Mr. Obama still call it an “uncontested arrival”? Since that euphemism hasn’t gone over well, he’d probably come up with something new. Regardless, Capt. James Fannell, the chief of intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, believes that China is training for a “short, sharp war” with Japan over the islands. If you were China, wouldn’t you look at what Putin has gotten away with and move in tomorrow? I would.

Perhaps the funniest thing about all of this is that the people who mocked Sarah Palin as a complete idiot now must wipe the egg off their face; she called a Ukraine invasion in 2008, saying that Obama’s strange detachment from foreign affairs would embolden men like Putin.

“After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence – the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next,” (Sarah Palin, October 21, 2008).

The same media culture that loves to sneer at anything that comes out of the former Alaska governor’s mouth is the same one that breeds “expert” analysis of the Christiane Amanpour variety — the CNN correspondent couldn’t even conceive of the Russians invading Ukraine as the armored personnel carriers and attack helicopters were fueling up Thursday night. It’s also the same culture that covers for men like Joe Biden, who former Defense Secretary Bob Gates believes “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Get ready for a wild ride the next couple of years. The world’s worst actors know that President Obama is in too deep, and they will continue to take advantage of the situation.

Related: Russia calls Obama after sending troops into Ukraine: Mitt Romney is smarter than you

Related: Ukraine: Leaders lived like kings off the confiscated wealth of the people — as always

“I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as ‘an extremely far-fetched scenario’ by the ‘high-brow’ Foreign Policy magazine.” — Sarah Palin

Here’s Palin in 2008:

Russia calls Obama after sending troops into Ukraine: Mitt Romney is smarter than you

Ukraine Russia armor

The Russians just called President Obama and left a message: “Your foreign policy is a disaster and Mitt Romney is smarter than you.”

Okay, they didn’t do that, but you couldn’t blame them if they did, considering that they’re rolling roughshod over Ukraine and all the White House can do is blubber about not crossing “lines” that have already been crossed.

“We are watching to see … whether or not Russia is doing anything that might be crossing the line in any way,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Friday. “We made clear that the U.S. supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the sovereignty of Ukraine. We have made clear to Russia that we believe it would be a grave mistake to intervene in any way.

Indeed, the White House is “watching.” That is why Vladimir Putin is laughing.

For those with a short memory, it was only a couple of years ago when President Obama mocked Mitt Romney during a presidential debate regarding his growing concern over the threat Russia posed to U.S. interests around the globe.

“Gov. Romney, I’m glad you recognize al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida,” Obama said. “You said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years.”

What president Obama doesn’t get is that just because he says something is over, it doesn’t mean it’s over. Whether it’s in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria or anywhere else, the world’s worst actors are always seeking to gain and exert influence.

While the president makes silly “Let’s Move” videos in the Oval Office with Vice President Joe Biden, guys like Vladimir Putin are plotting and planning ways to regain a place of prominence on the world’s stage.

Lets.Move.Obama.Biden water
What’s my strategy for keeping Russia in check? I don’t know. Don’t you see I have a “Let’s Move” video to shoot? Come on, people. Priorities…

The president’s clueless nature as it pertains to foreign affairs is exacerbated by media-types who a.) laugh along with jokes like “the 80s called and want its foreign policy back,” and b) are just as lost as the president.

Take CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, who told Wolf Blitzer there was no way the Russians would move in on the Ukraine…just before they did just that.

Mediate reported:

Some are concerned we might be on the eve of another Cold War,” Blitzer fretted. “What, if anything, would stop Vladimir Putin from getting involved?”

“There doesn’t seem to be any notion that he is actually going to do so,” Amanpour insisted.

“The U.S. right now says it only sees Russia’s military exercises ‘within the normal range,’” she continued. “It does not see any of the kind of massive planning that Russia would have to do in terms of planning, and logistics, and securing air, and land, and rail, and road corridors to incur into Ukraine.”

She noted that a 1990s-era treaty signed by both Russia and Western nations guarantees Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Less than 24 hours later armored personnel carriers, thousands of troops and Hind attack helicopters rolled in.

Russian armored personnel carriers are on their way to Crimea, and Ukrainian officials are calling it a “military invasion and occupation.”

A convoy of nine Russian armored personnel carriers and a truck on a road between the port city of Sevastopol and the regional capital, Sinferopol, the Associated Press reported.

“I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation,” Ukraine’s newly named interior minister, Arsen Avakov, wrote in an online statement.

Meanwhile, Russians armed with rifles and wearing military uniforms stormed into Crimea’s main airport and took up positions on Friday. Agence France-Presse confirmed that 2,000 armed Russian were airlifted into the area.

Russia has flexed it’s muscles in Syria. Russia has flexed its muscled in Iran. Russia has flexed its muscles in the Ukraine. It is sending spy ships to Havana, Cuba. Meanwhile, the president of the United States is jogging in circles around the Oval Office with Joe Biden.

The next time the president tries to ridicule his political opponents, take a moment to remember what a joke Vladimir Putin is making of America’s commander-in-chief.

Related: Ukraine: Leaders lived like kings off the confiscated wealth of the people — as always

Related: President Euphemism: Obama ‘concerned’ Russia’s ‘uncontested arrival’ to incite ‘man-caused disaster’

Ukraine: Leaders lived like kings off the confiscated wealth of the people — as always

Ukraine 2

As the protests in the Ukraine unfolded this past weekend, the world got to see how President Viktor Yanukovych and members of parliament, like Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, lived. “Good” would be an understatement.

Ukraine 1

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own helipad, golf course, gold-plated sinks, dining halls, Grecian gardens and exotic farm animals? When you’re a member of the elite it could all be yours, courtesy of “the people.”

Time and time again throughout history, the ruling class finds ways to horde wealth created by the people — all while claiming to act in “the people’s” interest. Unlike entrepreneurial start ups, factories and businesses, government officials essentially produce nothing. Outside its primarily purpose — the safety and security of the people — the size and scope of government should be limited in part to prevent exactly the kind of predictable theft demonstrated in the Ukraine.

Americans do not need the newspaper to tell them about the countless politicians who come to the nation’s capital, only to find themselves years later as members of the “one percent” the Occupy protesters railed against. It’s quite obvious what is happening.

Regardless, documentation is good. The New York Times reported in January:

For the first time in history, more than half the members of the House and Senate are now millionaires, according to a new analysis of financial disclosure reports filed last year.

The median net worth for lawmakers in the House and Senate was $1,008,767 — up 4.4 percent, according to the analysis, conducted by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, which examines the influence of money on politics in Washington.

Over all, at least 268 of the 534 current members of Congress had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, which is the year covered by the reports that each lawmaker had to file in 2013.

The failure of the Occupy movement was that it had no focus. It didn’t know who to blame. The problem isn’t capitalism, but crony capitalism, which is fueled by the Leviathan they sought to feed. The problem isn’t guys like Darrell Issa, who made his millions by starting his own company (i.e., Viper car alarms), but career politicians who never worked a day in the private sector as an adult, don’t understand how it works,  but still accrued wealth beyond the average American’s wildest dreams through shady connections and the “perks” of power (e.g., buying prime real estate just before legislation passed for that new super highway or construction project).

If Americans do not think that what is happening in the Ukraine and Venezuela could one day happen here, they are kidding themselves. There are millions of Americans who routinely vote for the U.S. versions of Viktor Yanukovych and Yuriy Ivanyushchenko. There are also millions of Americans who read enough history to see that it’s primed to repeat itself, and when it does they will be angry. At this time in history, Americans would be wise to reacquaint themselves with the principles that guided our founding fathers. If they do not, there will be needlessly painful days ahead.